Having a home office can provide you with the ideal place to work or study if you create the right environment. Your home office setup should allow you to focus on your job or school without interruptions or a lot of noise. This area of your home should also offer an atmosphere that motivates you to do your best. Whether you’re a work-from-home professional, MBA grad student, or both, the following home office ideas can help you set up the perfect environment.
Create an Ergonomic Workspace That Supports Your Health
Having the right work from home setup involves making sure it’s good for your health and well-being. An ergonomic workspace can help reduce the risk of developing health issues as a result of sitting for long periods of time, such as headaches, back pain, or neck pain. With these suggestions, you can create a workspace that helps protect your health while you’re working or studying.
1. Choose the Right Desk Height
The height of your desk shouldn’t be too low or high if you’ll be sitting since this can strain your neck and back. Keep in mind that sitting too much can have a negative impact on your health. Consider using an exercise bike that fits under your desk to counteract or prevent the effects of sitting, or choose a standing desk, so you won’t have to worry about sitting too long.
2. Adjust Your Computer Monitor Height
Your computer monitor or laptop screen should be at the right height to prevent you from having to tilt your head down or up while using it. The top of the screen should be roughly level with your eyes. To achieve this, you might need to adjust the chair you’ll be sitting in or place your monitor or laptop on a raised surface if needed.
3. Use a Supportive Chair or Back Pillow
Maintaining good posture in your home office can help lower your risk of back and neck strain. Choose a chair that provides your back with plenty of support or place a pillow behind you to accomplish this. You might also consider sitting on an exercise ball or finding alternative seating that supports your core and encourages proper posture, since this can help prevent you from experiencing back pain.
Keeping your home office as organized as possible can help you focus better and easily access anything you need at a moment’s notice. This can help ensure your workday or school day goes smoothly and you’re able to complete all work or school tasks on time. Use the following tips to help you get your home office all set up and organized.
Piles of clutter in your home office can make it much harder to concentrate on work or school. With clutter around, you’ll also have a difficult time finding any items or documents you need, resulting in a lot of wasted time. While you’re setting up your home office, take time to get rid of clutter. Keep work or school supplies organized neatly in bins, drawers, or other containers.
5. Organize Cables and Chargers
Your home office is likely going to need multiple cables and chargers for your equipment, such as your computer or laptop, printer, and phone. Have chargers handy so you can make sure your laptop or phone has enough power throughout the day. Bundle and store cables and cords for electronic equipment behind your desk or along a wall so they won’t be in your way.
6. Handle Sensitive or Important Documents
When you need to store or refer to sensitive or important documents for work or school, having a way to organize them is essential. Store digital versions in carefully labeled and organized files on your computer or laptop and use a filing cabinet and folders to store paper documents in your home office. This provides you with a simple way to access any documents or paperwork you need.
Create an Atmosphere You Like
While it’s important to have a practical setup that works for you, your home office should also provide an atmosphere you find appealing. Since you’ll be in your home office for hours at a time, make sure it’s a space you enjoy being in. Consider the following tips to help you create a comfortable and pleasant environment in your home office for work or school.
7. Choose the Ideal Lighting
Lighting is an important element when setting up your home office. The lighting you choose shouldn’t be too dim or bright since this can cause eyestrain and headaches. Keep in mind you might also need to choose lighting that is suitable for video calls. Your home office lighting should create the right ambiance that motivates you to handle work or school tasks.
8. Add Decorative Items
Having a few decorative items around can give your home office a personalized touch while boosting your mood. Choose items that make you happy, such as framed photos of loved ones, your favorite artwork, or houseplants. If your home office is small or doesn’t have any windows, choose natural elements as decorative items to make it more visually appealing.
9. Get a Set of Good Speakers or Headphones
Have a high-quality set of speakers or headphones in your home office. These speakers or headphones can cancel noise from other areas of your home or from outside, which can help you better focus on work or school. You can play your favorite tunes or some quiet background music while working on job-related tasks or school assignments.
10. Use Air Fresheners or Diffusers
Strong or unpleasant odors from nearby parts of your home, such as the kitchen, can be distracting and make it harder to give work or school your full attention. You might also want to freshen up your home office from time to time, especially if it doesn’t have windows to open for fresh air. Use air fresheners or diffusers to fill your home office with your favorite scents.
11. Keep Your Favorite Mug for Coffee or Tea Handy
When you’re busy working or studying in your home office, you might want some coffee or tea for an energy boost. Keep your favorite mug on hand, so you can enjoy a cup of coffee or tea any time you want. Just make sure that your family or housemates know that your mug is off limits.
Other Home Office Design Tips
Once you’ve created the right atmosphere and set up an ergonomic, organized workspace, there are a few more ways to make sure your home office is ready. These tips can help you finish up your home office setup so you can begin using it for work or school right away.
12. Use Reliable Technology
Technology is a big part of working or doing school from home. You might need to do video calls for work, or you might need to access school assignments or lectures online. Make sure your home office has reliable technology, including internet access and a desktop or laptop. Check your technology before video calls to ensure everything is working fine.
13. Separate Your Work and Home Life
Maintaining a separation between your work and home life is essential when you’re working or focusing on school in your home office. Make sure everyone in your home knows that your home office is not a place for them to go, especially when you’re in it. Set up a schedule so your family or housemates know when you’ll be in your home office focusing on work or school.
14. Stock Designated Home Office Supplies
When you’re working or handling school-related tasks in your home office, you’ll need to have ready access to supplies. Keep designated supplies in your home office, and make sure everyone else in your house knows that they shouldn’t use them. Having designated home office supplies means you won’t have to worry about them going missing or having to replace them more often than expected. Some home office supplies to consider stocking up on include notebooks, pens, and a whiteboard and markers for brainstorming sessions.
15. Have Easy Access to Relaxation and Stress Relief Tools
Work or school can become stressful at times, even when you’re in the comfort of your own home. Keep relaxation and stress relief tools in your home office so you can easily use them whenever you’re feeling stressed. Some items to consider keeping on hand include scented lotion, neck massager, stress balls, or sensory toys. These items can help you feel calmer and more relaxed, so you can go back to focusing on work or school.
Putting these tips to use can help you get your home office all set up and ready for work or school. Once your home office setup is complete, you can look forward to being able to handle work projects or school-related tasks without having to leave your house and deal with traffic and other commuting issues. Instead, you can focus on being as productive as possible.
If you’re planning on earning an MBA, please contact the Gary W. Rollins College of Business at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. We have multiple graduate degree solutions to help you reach your goals. Contact us today for more information.